When the Milo pattern was first published in 2009, my wee boy modelling it was just six months old and my daughter was four. I envisaged it very much as a baby and toddler garment and never really foresaw that knitters would want to knit it for older children. But they did. Over the years I've received numerous requests for larger sizes. Last year, I graded those larger sizes, had them tech-edited and had a number of knitters carry out a preview knit of those sizes. They've sat there since then but today will be added to the pattern finally.
There's been one design element that's played on my mind since the preview knit and had me wondering how to resolve it. Here's the thing, the overall aesthetic as a result of the cable is quite different in the smaller sizes and the larger sizes. On the smaller sizes, the cable appears chunky comparative to the size of the vest. However, the width of that cable doesn't translate to chunky looking when you view it on, say, a 28 inch chest size. It becomes a slim look, giving the milo a very different aesthetic. I admit I haven't been quite sure how to deal with this.
Do I add to the pattern wider cables to cater for those larger sizes? And if i start adding extra width cables for the larger sizes, do I then need to add in-between width cables to cater for the middle sizes too? Where does it stop? Different width cables would require some additional pattern writing and instructions, as adding different widths will affect the final sizing of the vest. This would make the pattern lengthier, possibly create confusion and would require a layout re-formatting. Lengthier patterns are also more expensive for my wholesale printer to deal with.
Or do I recognise and acknowledge that the look you want for a vest on a ten year old is quite different from what you want with a baby garment? That a slimmer look cable may be more fitting for the more grown up version?
I'm not sure there's a simple or one correct solution as different knitters will obviously have different preferences. That's been one of the beauties of the Milo pattern, that it gives knitters the palette to adapt and create to suit them.
My final solution, and it is in no way a perfect one, is to leave the cable width in the pattern as it is. I've written a short tutorial about using a wider cable stitch and some adjustments you should consider if you are doing so. The tutorial also includes a couple of suggestions for wider cables you may wish to try out with those larger sizes.
Milo, in the new format with sizing to fit chest size of 15 to 32 inches /38 to 81.5 cms, ( or ages approximately newborn to youth size 16*) is now available on Ravelry here and Loveknitting here.
* for best fit, please choose size based on actual chest measurement NOT age.
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